If Duct Tape Could Slap Your Hand Before You Apply It…

Ok, I know we’ve seen stuff much worse than this in our lifetimes as professionals working with light – but this is pretty stupendously wrong.  My buddy Erich Friend, an engineer, safety consultant, and CEO of Teqniqal Systems writes a blog about Theatre Safety at – you guessed it – the Theatre Safety Blog!  Erich posted the monstrosity below as a quick reminder on what not to do, ever.  Never.

Can you count the things wrong in this picture?


Check out The Theatre Safety Blog – Erich’s a knowledgeable dude!

Pepsi Battle of the Bands Collapse in Guangzhou, China

There is a lot of conspiracy surrounding this event, and funny enough, some video has been removed from the original information poster’s site.  Hmm, that’s not suspicious, right?  Typhoon Molave slammed an outdoor concert in Guangzhou, China and substandard production might have killed some people.

Bare bones facts:

On July 18, an outdoor Pepsi “Battle of the Bands” style concert was taking place in Guangzhou, China when a typhoon started blowing and raining. At one point in the concert, a gust of wind blew over some temporary lighting positions and an LED screen.  The concert was stopped abruptly.

There are some rumors floating too – it certainly doesn’t help things that videos are being taken down and people are saying that everything’s fine.  There’s a rumor that people were killed, and there’s Chinese reports saying that the singer, Pan Yuwen suffered some flesh wounds when the LED screen nearly killed him.

From China Music Radar about the accident:

Substandard production at a Pepsi competition in Guangzhou resulted in several people being injured when the stage capsized (WTF??). Taiwanese singer Pan Yuwen was on stage at the time. Word on the street is that the both the brand and the local promoter (Guangzhou ChangLong Group) requested all media NOT to report on the accident.

What I find a bit startling is that Pepsi is being very hush-hush about the whole incident, and all kinds of “cya” PR is taking place by Pepsi.  An article, Pepsi Hits Back at Concert Death Rumor was posted at Brand Republic.  From the article:

“At the Pepsi battle of the bands concert on the evening of 18 July in Guangzhou, due to the sudden early arrival of the typhoon, the concert was stopped abruptly,” chief marketing officer of Pepsi Greater China Harry Hui said in a statement to Media. “During Taiwanese singer’s Peter Pan performance on stage, the weather worsened dramatically with torrential rain and wind. As the host was announcing that the concert was to be terminated, telling everyone to leave the stage and the venue, the LED on the stage was blown over by the strong wind. Peter Pan was pulled away by CETV staff. Pan suffered a minor injury to his hand, while a staff member from CETV also sustained a head injury.”

The statement added that people were taken to a local hospital, adding that a second night of the concert took place at the Shenzhen Convention Centre on 19 July as scheduled, including the same host, Peter Pan and all other artists.

Pepsi did not address questions regarding its PR response to the rumours.

“If there’s a concert and the video screen falls, you’ll hear about it,” one Beijing-based PR source said. “It’s just not suppressible.”

Another PR source in Beijing said: “It seems that due to Pepsi’s even more extraordinary PR work, so far no mainstream media outlet has talked about the accident.”

Mainland sources add that a video of the incident was posted then removed from Tudou.com. Representatives from Tudou and Pepsi would not comment on the rumour, though a video industry source speculated that it may have been pulled due to an ‘accuracy’ policy sites such as Tudou employ, designed to prevent misleading videos being circulated.

Here’s some video that hasn’t been pulled yet – I downloaded the FLV and uploaded it to my Youtube account in case someone wants to challenge its existence. The video is a little on the spazcam side, and the accident happens at the end:

Wow.  I hope we find out what happened here.

In-Roadway Warning Lights – Pedestrian Protectors


I have seen several articles lately about in-roadway warning lights, or IRWLs – pedestrian crosswalk lighting systems built into the roadway.  Imagine flashing lights that are activated either by a pedestrian plate in the road, via the ol’ pushbutton manual control, or automatically with infrared beams placed across the entrance to the roadway.  The lighting systems are built into the road surface and also have a diamond warning sign with flashing lights on the side of the road.  These systems can be wired into the city’s grid, or powered primarily by solar collection.  They are of course LED, too.


These systems are apparently succeeding in “traffic calming,” and making drivers more aware to pedestrians in the roadway.  One company I discovered in my research was Global Spec with their Smart Crosswalk Traffic Calming System.  This particular system is a hard-wired system – the company mentions that a hard-wired system is a lot less likely to fail than a wireless system.  Their system also has a specially designed flashing pattern, developed with the University of California’s Berkeley Vision Detection Laboratory to help drivers to process the flashing lights in the part of the brain that senses motion quickly.

There is a video made by StreetFilms about one of these installed systems in Seattle.  I’ll be in Seattle in a few weeks, I’ll make sure to snap some pictures of one of these systems.

Thanks, Streetsblog and Global Spec!